I remember being so excited buying my first bird. He was a month old green cheek conure and I named him Luthor. I was ecstatic and overwhelmed and completely in love with this little guy the moment I laid my eyes on him. I did some research prior to my bird ownership, but not nearly enough it seems.
Most breeders and/or pet stores won’t inform you of a lot of things that are harmful, unnecessary, or plain out just logic and proper feeding methods. Owning a bird is more than just giving your little feathered friend attention and love. It’s becoming a parent in the most binding way and knowing what is the right thing to do for them and what is actually harming them without your knowledge. I hope these few small tips I have to give help you and your little feathered children.
Seeds are not to be given as normal, everyday food. Seeds are treats.
When it comes to seeds, birds become addicts. They indulge themselves in them and absolutely love them. What you aren’t told about feeding your birds a seed-only diet is that it increases their chances of becoming overweight. We’ve heard of “borbs,” which is a slang used for chubby birds, and some birds are just born that way. Others, however, have a higher risk of developing liver diseases or similar problems. Seeds are high in fatty nutritions and they’re just simply not to be fed as an everyday diet.
Birds are in love with scratches. They love cuddling and will do anything to get your attention and that’s what made me love them more than anything. They’re just plain out adorable and silly.
Know your boundaries! I can’t stress this enough. Birds are incredibly hormonal and practically get “turned on” from getting petted in the wrong places. It’s ridiculous, I know, but this causes your bird an immense amount of stress and aggressiveness. Birds are to be petted on their heads only. I know it’s hard to stop yourself from petting their bellies or under their wings, but just petting their back alone causes them to become sexually frustrated. If you ever wondered why your bird adores you but hates anyone who gives you attention besides them… they’re most likely in birdy love with you.
They are not to be in a cage all day, every day!
Birds become lonely easily, they get depressed, and they need to be interacted with. Most people think getting a second bird to keep their first one company is a good idea, but realistically they might just drive you absolutely insane and they may not be compatible friends. Being caged all year round can lead to plucking and loud screeches and so many health problems. They require your attention for a minimum of at least 3-4 hours per day!
Sunlight is the greatest health and feather boost for birds.
This really speaks for itself; place the cage in the sunniest place in your house. It helps with good feather health and just their own health as well.
They require a lot of work and maintenance.
Sure, their cage doesn’t smell terrible, but they sense the untidiness of their home and it drives them insane. You must clean their cages at least once a week. They require fresh fruits and vegetables and different herbs and nuts. That’s what brings out their beautiful feather colors the most, and please, once again, no seed-based diets in their cage; ween them onto a strict pellet only diet when they are caged up.
I personally avoid giving the fruits and vegetables out of their cage for the simple reason that I don't feel comfortable having them eat food that is slowly emitting odors/mold, and they hide their food in very weird places sometimes. It's plain out easier to clean outside of their cages.
Chances are I’ll think of more things after writing this, but these are really the main things I was never warned about and never told without a lot of research and help from a lot of other bird owners I’ve encountered over my two years of being a bird mom.